A: It seems the only time you hear of forensic accountants is after stories break about a Bernie Madoff type Ponzi scheme or a volunteer getting caught stealing from the local little league. Yes, the services of forensic accountants are needed in such cases. As forensic accountants, we are regularly hired to find out who took what and how.
However, we aren’t just called in for white collar crime investigations, but also assist with the financial aspects of many types of civil litigation. What you may not know is that we can help with the due diligence procedures if you are looking to acquire a business. From our perspective, these procedures are not to verify what is known but to uncover what has not been disclosed to you. You don’t want to end up in court after the sale, fighting about key issues that you weren’t told about, such as overvalued assets, undisclosed debt, labor issues, unpaid taxes or undisclosed royalty obligations. A forensic accountant can help prevent that.